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What is Active Living?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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Active living generally means adding some form of physical activity to a person’s routine each day. For some people, it can mean following a structured workout at a gym or at home, using weights, fitness equipment, or attending a group class. For other people, it can mean exercising outside, such as riding an outdoor bike, running, or swimming at the pool. Occasionally, a person will define it as simply doing activities that she likes to do, whether it is skiing, painting, fishing, or diving — as long as there is some movement involved. Very few people will include reading, knitting, or crossword puzzles in the category of active living.

Depending on the age of the person, the term active living can alter its meaning slightly. For example, it is entirely different for a person in her 80s compared to a person in her 20s. For a healthy 80-year-old person, water aerobics, walks outside, and even raking the fallen leaves may be consider to be part of an active lifestyle. A healthy 20-year-old person has an entirely different set of standards set for her. For example, an active lifestyle for a youthful person may include running, lifting weights, mountain biking, and skiing.

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There is some research that has shown that people should begin to work toward an active lifestyle at a very young age. For example, children as young as one and two years old should be encouraged to play outside for about an hour. Simply playing in the park is a great way for young children to engage in active living. If they are old enough to walk, a stroll through the zoo is also a good way to become active.

The benefits to active living are quite numerous. For example, it can prevent obesity in both children and adults. It can also lessen the likelihood for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure in most people. Although a person dedicated to a strict workout regimen clearly lives an active lifestyle, a person who walks to work and climbs the stairs to her high-rise building may also consider herself to follow an active lifestyle.

Some groups believe that active living should be supported by the community. For example, those people believe that parks should be plentiful and should contain areas for both children and adults to exercise. They also believe that schools should improve the curriculum for physical education so that adolescents appreciate the importance of active living. In general, active living is beneficial for most people. Usually, it is up to the informed individual to take the steps to incorporate the physical activity into her day.

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Mor
Post 3

@umbra21 - Some people need the goal of running a marathon or doing some other kind of hobby like SCUBA diving in order to focus their efforts.

I've always wanted to do something like walking the Appalachian Trail and that would be more motivating to me than just walking every day out of habit. When something is a habit without an end goal I tend to talk myself out of it in favor of other activities that do have goals.

That's just me though. Everyone has to find their own balance when it comes to this kind of thing.

umbra21
Post 2

@Ana1234 - I have a bunch of friends who do run marathons and they tend to become pretty obsessed. But I don't do anything more than walk whenever I can instead of using the car and do stretches in front of the TV and I always seem to get a pretty good report when I have my blood pressure tested.

I actually think the average person has to sit at their job so much and then sits at home so much that the bar for being considered active is fairly low.

Ana1234
Post 1

I used to make the mistake of thinking that if I wasn't going to do some serious active living I wouldn't do any at all. So I always planned to go for a run and then, because I didn't want to run, I wouldn't do anything at all. I never tried to just go for a walk instead.

Now I try not to get too unrealistic about it. I'm never going to be a marathon runner, but I can still go for a walk or a swim every day and get the benefits from that.

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